Apple Arcade is a perfect travel companion

We’re going to Los Angeles next week, and, as usual, I spent some time preparing my iPad and iPhone for the trip by stocking them with new things to read and play. I have a short attention span, so I need enough stuff to distract me whenever I’m on a plane, train or ship.

My go-to app for travel is still Libby by OverDrive, a free app that lets me check out books and audiobooks from the public library. There is always plenty to read or listen to, with tens of thousands of titles from which to choose. For this trip, I checked out recent novels by some of my favorite series authors, including Lee Child (Jack Reacher), Jeffery Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs), and Stuart Woods (Stone Barrington). I also grabbed a James Patterson audiobook as a backup if I finished the e-books.

For years Libby was all I needed to entertain myself in the sky, on the rails or at sea. It only requires internet access when you want to check out or return a book or audiobook, so it’s ideal for travel, when internet access can often be spotty (or non-existent).

But man cannot live on words alone, or at least I can’t. So in addition to stocking up on books and audiobooks in Libby, I also fill my iDevices with games that don’t require internet access. And these days, I can’t think of a better source than Apple Arcade, which costs $4.99 a month for unlimited access to more than 200 high-quality games.

I probably wouldn’t have subscribed to Arcade, but it is part of my Apple One Premier subscription, and I’m happy to have it now. I’m a “casual” gamer with no strong genre preference. So, I have enjoyed checking out a variety of games for free. And I love that Arcade games have no ads or in-app purchases, so unlike many “freemium” games in the App Store, Arcade games never pester you to watch or buy anything.

I’ve played dozens of Arcade’s offerings and have enjoyed most of them. Standouts include Backgammon+, which I found surprisingly challenging; Gear.Club Stradale, a car racing game that’s easy to learn and challenging to master; and Bloons TD 6+, a fast-paced tower defense strategy game.

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